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Here’s a goodie for fans of African Speculative Fiction, or for those who are not yet, but are interested in the ever-increasing, and very distinct and interesting output coming out of this scene:
Red Origins is, in first approximation, a webcomic, but it has several parts to it, from music to animation to the comic pages.
“The show follows the young characters of Obi, Temi and John as they mystically get transported to 2070 Neo Africa. Upon arrival they mistakenly break a bronze taboo and are forced to join a Peacekeeping Magical Juju Force. In order to return home they must help stop a brewing war between Ancestral Africa and Neo Technological Africa. ” One interesting titbit is that Nnedi Okorafor, author of Lagoon and Binti (besides a lot more that’s also worth reading!) apparently got engaged as a ‘juju consultant’ by the project, so evidently has her seal of approval, too!
Voting for the 2015 Hugo Awards, to be presented at this year's Worldcon, Sasquan, has started. Now, this year's Hugos have caused a bit of a stir, albeit one long in the making. There is much to be read about it on the Interwebs, but, in a nutshell - a group group of SF fans (shall we call them that) felt that 'their' kind of SF was being ignored, underrepresented at the Hugos, for which I have some sympathy (hey, the shortlists would look different if _I_ got to pick them, too). They called themselves Sad Puppies, and organised a voting slate of works they would have preferred to see on the shortlists. Now, this might be within the letter of the law (or the Hugo rules), but violates the spirit of the award and it's administration. But it got worse - a second, affiliated group, calling themselves Rabid Puppies, also issued a slate, which came to dominate the nominations and thus shortlists. Given that their political/ideological orientation is, in my opinion, beyond the pale (this is the "No women, no blacks, no gays" brigade) we all of a sudden have a misogynist, reactionary, racist dominated Hugo shortlist. And this I object to, and will thus vote tactically/politically. Should you have avoided any exposure to the above mess, and planned to vote by the strength of the works on offer only, then be aware - this is also a political vote, and potentially not for something you meant to vote for.
As of November 17 we have lost another of the great writers of the 20th (and the 21st, as it stands) Century, and, to my knowledge, the only SF writer (although her scope was much, much wider than that) who has won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Her writing included Speculative Fiction (or, as she called it, Space Fiction) in a number of approaches and settings, including the clearly SF Shikasta series, the final installment in the Children of Violence sequence (The Four-Gated City), or the magnificently titled Briefing for a Descent into Hell.
There are obituaries in many places, of course, but you might start with the BBC, the Guardian, or the New Yorker.
Some pieces published clearly show that, even in death, she was a divisive and uncompromising presence. We need more of those, not fewer...
Reviews of some of her books (I'm not even through with her Shikasta series yet) can be found here.
We are sad to hear that the rather excellent World SF Blog has ceased to publish new content.
For four years Editor-in-Chief Lavie Tidhar, with Associate Editor Charles A. Tan and Fiction Editors Debbie Moorhouse and Sarah Newton brought us information, links, interviews, and both original and re-published short fiction from around the world - as a loud, insistent, and much appreciated voice pointing us towards new, and different SF outside the US/UK-centric publishing world; and we would like to thank them for their efforts.